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Debate, discussion, controversy: we share the concepts


Debate(debate, debating) - this is a formal dispute resolution method in which the parties interact with each other, presenting certain points of view, in order to convince a third party (spectators, judges, etc.) The debate, as a form of dispute resolution, differs from just logical argumentation, which only checks things for consistency from the point of view of axioms, as well as from a dispute about facts in which they are interested only in what happened or did not happen. Although logical consistency and factual accuracy, as well as emotional appeal to the public are important elements of persuasion, in the debate, one side often prevails over the other by presenting a better “meaning” and / or structure for addressing the problem.

In a formal debate competition, there are special rules for conducting discussions, deciding on the winning / losing side, as well as the procedure / format of the meeting. Informal debate is a more common occurrence, but the quality and depth of the debate is improved by possessing specialized knowledge and debate skills. Advisory bodies (parliaments, legislative assemblies) and assemblies of all kinds are involved in the debate process. Debate results can be summarized by a vote by spectators or judges, or a combination thereof. Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as debates between party leaders or debates between presidential candidates, are commonplace in a democracy. Therefore, this article is written about an educational debate program outside of public policy.

Debate is life, so this is a program about life

What associations arise with the word "debate"? Debate, discussion, clash of opinions, presidential elections ... For 100 thousand students and schoolchildren and 20 thousand teachers, Debates present an interesting program and an informative intellectual game that can be played in the family, in the classroom, in the student group and at tournaments and championships of various levels : university, city, regional and, finally, international.

Moreover, unlike other intellectual, creative and sports games, participation in which rarely goes beyond the boundaries of a school, university or district, the Debate provides equal, and most important, real opportunities for each participant to develop leadership qualities, learn to consider problems from different points of view, argued to prove their position, speak in public. Moreover, all these skills can be tested in real competitions right up to the World Cup.

The form of dispute, which we call educational debate, is widespread in schools and universities around the world: in Western and Eastern Europe, the USA, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Western Siberia. Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, Sorbonne - this is a very incomplete list of those universities where debate clubs operate and develop.

Ancient history of debate

Obviously, dialogue as a form of verbal communication (and a dispute as its form) appeared in ancient times when one person did not agree with another on some issue. After all, a dispute is natural to humans. It is in a dispute, as is known, that truth is born, from a clash of opinions - objective knowledge. It is known: the great Greek thinker Socrates tried to provoke a dispute in order to reveal the errors of his compatriots. His student, Plato, wrote down his ideas in the form of dialogs. Disputes between politicians, often taking extreme forms, were characteristic of the daily life of the ancient world. The debate acquired formal completeness by the Middle Ages. How many devils can fit on the tip of a needle is a typical topic of heated theological debate of those times. The new time - the era of the emergence of Western democracy with its basic principle - the realization of the will of the majority while maintaining the rights of the minority. And again: disputes, disputes, debates.

However, the condition for the emergence of dialogue and debate was not only the ability to speak a certain language - for many it was much more convenient to use the leader’s big club, an elder’s order, and the strength of the army as an “argument requiring no proof”. Even in the 20th century, it was widely believed that "an argument armed with a gun convinces better than just an argument."

It is not enough to read a book outlining the basics of oratory in order to learn how to have a casual conversation with the audience, the only teacher is practice.

Open Society Ideas and Debate

Over the past two or three centuries, society has been steadily moving towards democracy, dialogue and debate. This form of communication has proved its viability and effectiveness, since in modern times only an “open society” can exist and develop over time, adapting to rapidly changing conditions. Closed systems, where complete unanimity and stability prevail, and people are obedient executors of decisions of the “power vertical,” are doomed to self-destruction.

This dilemma was first formulated by the Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, who spent most of his life in England, where he wrote one of his main works, “Open Society and Its Enemies” (1945). In it, Popper writes that he believes in the existence of absolute truth, but does not believe in someone who believes that he has it. He argues that knowledge is constantly increasing and the conclusions are temporary and it is improved only by refuting it - a rigorous public examination of ideas and opinions.

In this work, Karl Popper emphasizes the special value of developing a free (critical) dogmatic thinking, that is, a joint process of dialogue and open discussion of certain problems. Since human thinking is verbal in nature, it is necessary, according to Popper, to develop the ability to think independently and to uphold and prove his opinion, convincing others of his innocence. It is here that the importance of debate is emphasized as a form of persuasion. The panellist hopes to change the position of others about what is best or right.

Community debate

In modern society, debates take place in parliaments and on television, in universities and schools, and often in everyday life. In this case, the debate refers to debate, discussion of the issue in the presence of different points of view, views on it. Such debates, as a rule, are informal and are conducted without rules. To eliminate this drawback, “formal” debates are called for, having certain rules and regulations — the so-called format.

In this sense, the debate is a formal discussion, built on the basis of pre-fixed statements by the participants-representatives of two opposing, rival teams (groups). Simply put, opponents do not water each other from bottles and do not wave their fists, but act in strict sequence in accordance with strict regulations.

Debate, as a form of youth activity, first took shape in the United States and Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. The mission of the program is the assertion of the values ​​of a democratic society, the development of mutual understanding and cooperation between countries and peoples.

The debate program is also an effective pedagogical technology, contributing to the development of logical and critical thinking, the development of a communicative culture and public speaking skills.

The “debate” develops in young people the skills necessary for effective communication in any sphere of human activity, including parliamentary, develop critical thinking, being at the same time a popular form of intellectual pastime. Participation in the program provides an opportunity for developing the ability to work in a team, the ability to concentrate on the essence of the problem and defend unpopular solutions.

Youth and debate

The Debate program is a bright, spectacular intellectual game, a perspective for active young people - future leaders of society. Debate prepares for responsible decision making, autonomy and other skills necessary in a civilized democratic society.

The young age of the debate society is due to the fact that this game was created primarily for high school students and students. As for high intelligence, this is a kind of label debaters. For example, in the United States, participating in a school’s debate team without gaining significant victories brings students 4% additional rating (only a sports team captain and class president can get 5% each, while participation in a school newspaper or rock group adds only 3 % rating), and winning at the national or state level adds 22-30% of the rating. The two characteristics noted above are a prerequisite for participating in a debate, but the real factor that unites debaters is the game itself, in particular the feeling of being in a certain exceptional position, doing something important that is different from the rest of the world and outside of normal norms is a feeling retains its influence on players outside the scope of a specific game.

As a rule, the debate community is quite compact. Most of its participants know each other well and maintain friendly relations. Obviously, the reason for this is the urgent need for high-intellectual communication, which arises among those who constantly play debate. A significant part of the debaters who began to play debate at school continues to play at them and at the university, and upon its completion does not leave them, acting as trainers and judges.

Actually, the process of the game itself, and communication with other debaters - all this is covered by the concepts of "debate". And if you ask 10 debaters about what they love debate for, you are guaranteed to get 10 different answers. Summarizing the above ideas, we can say that for the ancient Greeks and medieval students, life determined the discussion, and for modern debaters, discussion determines life.

The site was created and administered by the Kemerovo regional public organization "Youth Initiative".

What is a dispute?

The concept of dispute has many synonyms - this is disagreement, contradiction, quarrel. Each of us has encountered this phenomenon. They argue over trifles, important issues. The clash comes as a result of excellent opinions. Two or more people are present during a conversation. Such a discussion is called a dispute, controversy, or discussion. But, this is not true.

What is a dispute? This is a opposition of the parties that arises spontaneously, without prior agreement to discuss a specific issue. They do not prepare for the dispute in advance, do not collect materials and evidence. It is not enough to agree with the opinion of one of the debaters so that a discussion ensues. In a dispute, a person relies on experience, knowledge gained. It rarely provides specific data: numbers, studies, examples.

The dispute appears in two forms. The first option is oral quarrels. Such disagreements are time limited. They end when the second side does not want to discuss or at the end of the meeting. The second form is written. Such disputes last forever. They are expressed in the preparation of letters, statements, petitions, protests, which are poisoned to the opponent’s address. The second party cannot interrupt the flow of written messages.

People who enter into a dispute act for various reasons. It is important for someone to prove the truth of beliefs, someone just fills free time. Leaders strive to win. Why a person enters into a dispute and the behavioral line of people are studied by such sciences: conflictology and psychology. At the same time, one cannot attribute the dispute to a negative phenomenon. It is enough to recall the wisdom that "truth is born in a dispute."

Discussion, what is it?

Remember the meeting at work, where the heads of departments get together and try to come to a solution to the issue. In addition, each of them comes with a great opinion. Based on the results of this meeting, an acceptable option is found that solves the problem. But, this does not mean that the participants in the meeting changed their minds. If you are familiar with this situation, then you participated in the discussion.

What does a discussion in a scientific language mean? This is a public meeting of people where a specific topic is being discussed. Participants in the discussion have excellent opinions, speak out, oppose each other. But, at the same time, they strive to come to a consensus, to find a way out of the situation. The discussion does not imply winners or losers. To persuade an opponent to their side, the participants in the conversation use facts, prepare reports, provide calculations and other convincing evidence.

Discussion is considered one of the effective methods of persuasion. In a short period of time, several ideas are heard. To convince the interlocutors, it is enough to prepare correctly, to collect facts and evidence.

What does the concept of controversy mean?

By significance, the controversy is not far from the argument. During the discussion of the problem, people find themselves on opposite sides of the barricade. Against one opinion, the exact opposite is put forward. The conversation begins, called polemic. What does this concept mean?

This is a discussion of a controversial issue, which, unlike a discussion, does not lead to reconciliation of the parties. The task of each of the debaters is to win. There is no common opinion, only one correct one, in which the winner convinced the other participants in the conversation. Witty, decisive and tenacious polemicist wins in such a battle. A weak-willed and shy person is not able to resist such pressure.

By controversy is understood a separate science that teaches to influence people, to persuade, to incline to the right side. Moreover, words are not enough. A person who wants to win a dispute presents undeniable facts and powerful evidence. Polemicists are taught tactics, strategies, psychological influence on the interlocutor.

What are the types of disputes?

If we start from scientific concepts, it becomes clear that a dispute is not just a juxtaposition of two opinions. This is a subtle, skillful struggle, which is trained. Polemists can distinguish true discussion, find loopholes, emerge victorious in any situation.

What are the types of disputes?

Discussion to find the truth. It arises as a result of discussion of the topic by people who are well versed in the situation. Excellent opinions are artificially clashed to correctly resolve the issue. The parties carefully prepare for such a dispute, bring evidence, substantiate the point of view. A prerequisite for participating in such a discussion is a professional knowledge of the topic and a desire to come to the truth. The purpose of the dispute is to find the only right solution. One of the parties convinces the other by providing undeniable facts and evidence. The conflicting person agrees not under pressure or oratory skills of the interlocutor, but under scientific evidence.

A polemic to convince the enemy. Here the party acts for various reasons. The first option is a clear belief in the correctness. The second is the need to incline the interlocutor to the right side. At the same time, the polemicist does not share this point of view, but acts on the orders of his superiors or due to other circumstances.
A dispute to win. The motives of the organizer of the discussion are diverse. Uncertain individuals overwhelm another person wanting to assert themselves. Or argue on the instructions of the authorities, duty.Another option to achieve victory through argument is to work for the public. The task is to organize a loud and enchanting victory. Moreover, methods to achieve the desired are not taken into account. Victory in the dispute is achieved by any means.
Debate for the sake of argument. Such a person enters into any discussion, succumbing to sports interest. The task of the debater is to participate in the debate. At the same time, a person may not understand the topic, be far from the problems of discussion. It does not matter who acts on the reverse side, and what qualities he possesses. For such a person, a dispute is a sport where it is important not only participation, but also victory, the opportunity to show off knowledge and eloquence. Look at your surroundings, such a person is in every company. At the first collision, a person gives the impression of an erudite and knowledgeable person. After several discussions, you realize that behind loud phrases lies an ignorance of the topic and emptiness. Try not to engage in such discussions; you will not find a solution to the issue in such a discussion. The described scheme is resorted to in adolescence. During this period, the child seeks to break out of the custody of adults and defend opinion.

The species are conditional and rarely found in their pure form. In this case, the dispute that has initially begun may turn in any direction. During the discussion, household, personal, family issues, social topics are raised. In the latter case, the interests of groups of individuals are defended. Prepare for such discussions in advance, attract knowledgeable people and able to negotiate. The argument takes time and takes power. Only engage in discussions that have social significance. Do not waste energy on trifles.

In the classic version, the disagreement arises between the two sides. This discussion translates into dialogue. If during the discussion there are more than two people with different points of view, then the argument is called a polylogue. It doesn’t matter if the discussion is behind closed doors or the participants in the debate speak out publicly. Public gathering is resorted to when the goal is to influence the opinions of arguing people.

Psychology highlights another type of discussion. This is an argument with oneself. Such a person comes into conflict with himself, leads an internal monologue. This condition is not considered a deviation. Each of us faced situations when we have to make important decisions. The result is influenced by many factors: personal beliefs, influence from the outside. As a result, a person convinces himself, argues, finds arguments, leads a monologue.

The meaning of concepts in the modern world

Controversy and discussion are important in the business world. Work involves contact with other people, the ability to highlight important issues, conduct surveys, gather evidence and lead others to the right decision. A polemicist is a person who has these qualities:

high knowledge in the selected topic for the dispute,
thinking outside the box
communication and persuasion skills.

Such a person can organize meetings, gather the right people and prepare the evidence base. To organize a polemic on a specific issue, the following actions are performed:

Selected topics for discussion. The starting (correct) point of view is taken into account. Objections on this topic are being worked out. Participants in the debate should understand what issues are being discussed.
Preparing for questions and answers. That the conversation was lively and led to a result, problematic questions are spoken out. To do this, the organizer draws those present to the discussion, throwing up “hot” topics. To fulfill two points, the polemicist should have a clear conversation scenario.
Full command of the topic. If necessary, the organizer turns to specialists in the selected topics. When studying the issue, he learns about opposing theories, points of view. Grows knowledge, increases erudition and comes to a clear opinion.
Mastery of the situation. The organizer has the ability to listen and hear, directs the conversation in the right direction. The polemicist conducts the discussion in an objective way, keeps the main line, dismisses secondary issues.

During the discussion, the organizer's goal is to extinguish conflicts. As a result, participants should not experience emotional stress. The result is the desire of the debaters to meet for further cooperation and discussion of issues.

Debate, discussion, controversy: we share the concepts

What are the main differences between the three values? Before summing up, we note that there are similar concepts:

Dispute. In theory, the concept is similar to a discussion. The main difference is a discussion of a scientific or social issue. Previously, the concept only meant the upholding of scientific work. The discussion was held in public.
Debate. The word is familiar from political broadcasts, borrowed from the French language. Participants in various parties exchange reports, after which they enter into debate.
Debate. These are the consequences of a person speaking with a public message, a statement. If you disagree with the speaker’s opinion, questions and discussions arise. A common occurrence during conferences or meetings.

The concepts described are already emerging from three main ones: debate, discussion and controversy. In fact, these are similar values, since the reason for their occurrence is the same. In the presence of different opinions, controversial situations arise. To come to a common denominator use the discussion. Properly upholding one’s innocence is a controversy. A spontaneous discussion is called a dispute.